WORCESTER'S new traffic bollards scheme will be up and running once all First Midland Red buses have been fitted with the software, it has been pledged.

Angel Street will become closed to all unauthorised vehicles during the day to allow better access for buses and emergency vehicles.

City engineers say that the troubled scheme has been given the all clear and will be operational when more than 150 buses are fitted with transponders.

These will register with scanners in the road beside the McDonald's restaurant and lower the bollards to allow access.

"Everything is in place," said Andy Walford, Worcester City Council's principal engineer.

"We're just waiting for all of the buses to be fitted so we can get the scheme up and running."

The restrictive traffic scheme was given the thumbs up in January, but hit trouble as soon as it was installed because buses already fitted with transponders for neighbouring schemes were not compatible.

Software designers went back to the drawing board when it was realised that the programme was not designed to be universally compatible.

Each town taking part in the scheme had its own signal which could not be recognised by visiting buses with other sensors.

First Midland Red engineers say they have tested a few buses which have been fitted with transponders, and that went without any problems.

"We've got the transponders, and our engineers are currently working to fit them on to all of our vehicles," said Austin Birks of First Midland Red.

"We can't give a precise date because there are so many that need fitting.

"Our engineers are conscious that they need to be done quickly but they're working as hard as they can."

When the Angel Street system is fully operational city council engineers will start to plan a similar scheme for the Lowesmoor bus lane.

"Hopefully that won't take as long," said Mr Birks.

"The bollards will be an effective way of ensuring that the bus lane is used by just buses."